TV host finds no conflict between show, school board candidacy |

TV host finds no conflict between show, school board candidacy

Andrew Kole, left, and Roger Marolt discuss the upcoming bond issue to build a new middle school Wednesday on GrassRoots TV. (Mark Fox/The Aspen Times)

Aspen media personality Andrew Kole, who is running for a seat on the Aspen School District board, said he sees nothing wrong with discussing school board-related issues on his GrassRoots TV show during the election campaign.In a show being taped Wednesday, Kole and Aspen Times columnist Roger Marolt talked about a school district bond question in the Nov. 1 general election. During the show, Kole mentioned a remark supporting his candidacy that he attributed to two local politicians.Kole said he saw no problem with it.

The political remark, which Kole attributed to Pitkin County Commissioners Mick Ireland and Patti Kay-Clapper, was, “The school board might not need three Andrew Koles, but one wouldn’t be too bad.”Kole said the two politicians suggested this should be his campaign slogan, and he rejected a suggestion that this amounted to electioneering from the pulpit of his show.”If you want to call it electioneering, you can,” he said. “I don’t spend a show campaigning, because it will bore the hell out of everybody. But if somebody asks me a question, I’ll answer it.

“But I’m also bringing on, next week, the trifecta of pro-bond,” Kole said. Aspen School District Superintendent Diana Sirko and two consultants will promote the bond. “So, does that not balance out the ticket?”During a previous election in which Kole ran for Aspen City Council, some had said it was not fair for Kole to have a show while running for office because other candidates did not receive the same exposure.Kole also said Wednesday anyone who wants to can pay for a half-hour or hour of television time on GrassRoots, just as he does.

“So that makes it a little bit different,” Kole said.He also said he is hoping to dedicate one show to the school board election and will ask the other four candidates to join him for an on-air discussion.”The Andrew Kole Show” airs regularly under a contractual arrangement between Kole and the station, which is located in the Red Brick Recreation Center in Aspen.Kole said recently that his main source of income comes from sponsors of the show, which he said brought in approximately $90,000 in gross revenues in his best year. Some of that goes to the station, and the balance goes to Kole, he said.

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